Africa Twin or KLR ?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by BGil, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    Hello,

    I want to buy a used bike and make it an Adv bike for a long trip through the Caucasus, the stans and Mongolia to Magadan in 2 years. Until that time, it will be my everyday bike (I'm selling my KTM SMT).

    I have narrowed down my choice to 2 bikes : Honda Africa Twin (RD04 or RD07) or Kawasaki KLR 650.

    Both are cheap, easy to maintain and can be easily "adventurized".

    What are the weak points of these bikes ? Is the KLR really underpowered ?

    I don't know anything in mechanics and plan to learn it with that bike during the 2 years it will take to prepare my trip. Wich one is the easiest to maintain ?

    -------

    If the KLR is the winner, what do you think of this bike (I will link to the ad if it's not against the sub-forum rules) :



    KLR 650 for sale for medical reason.

    In good condition. Maintenance done.
    New Battery. New front tyre. Fuel filter, oil filter, tank drained, carburetor cleaned, oil ​​changed, oil filter, air filter, and spark plug replaced. The service was made by a professional mechanic.
    Service manual included.

    Bike from 2001.
    Less than 10 000 km.
    1750 € (2300 US$).

    Colour : red and black.
    The bike is not far from where I live (55 km).

    Is it a bargain ?


    p.s. Sorry for my awkward english. School was a long time ago and I wasn't listening anyway.
    p.p.s. The KLR from the ad is in Bastogne. I suppose I will have the check the nuts :d.
    #1
  2. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER

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    Ride Red!
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  3. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    Less than 10.000 km and 2001? :hmmmmm

    In this kind of cases I usually come to 2 possible conclussions:
    1. Liar! Those km have been cut down!
    2. That bike has been stopped for long periods of time.

    Anyways, if we are in case no. 2, I would take to a service in order to have a very good and deep check.
    If everything is alright, then I think is a true bargain! :D

    KLR underpowered? It depends on what you expect from the engine... :wink:
    If you're going a lot on dirt (what I guess from your post), I think KLR has enough torque to keep going on mud, snow or crossing a river. KLR is lighter too.

    On the other hand, AT would go faster and more confortably on paved roads, and I think it's easier to "adventurized".
    #3
  4. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    Ask for the invoices :deal. If so, then go for it! :clap
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  5. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    From the ad, the engine is currently drained and the bike is not plated; I suppose the bike has been stopped for a long period of time.
    #5
  6. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    Then you have to take into account that you'll have to check, and probably replace, the following:
    1. Brake pads
    2. Tires
    3. Fuel/brake liquid hoses
    4. Carburettor settings

    EDIT: 1750 + let's say... 400 € (tires, pads, hoses)... It's still a bargain! IMHO
    #6
  7. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    And add oil filter, air filter and engine oil.
    Doesn't matter what the seller tells me, I always replace that!
    40 € and you ride fully confident :evil
    #7
  8. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I phoned the guy and asked a few questions.

    He's the second owner, the bike have 9900 km, he rode only 1000 km. I think the km is real. He's retired and have stopped riding for medical reasons.

    The bike is stopped only since november, only because it's cheaper to pay to have a new plate than having to insure it during the bad season if you're not riding.
    #8
  9. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    Since november! That's no time! :D
    Definitely, if you can get the services invoices or you can take it to a checking, you have a bargain!
    #9
  10. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motografist

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    Both great choices. I myself, own a 2009 KLR. The KLR is far from underpowered. I weigh 262 American pounds, (my ideal weight if I was 7 feet tall). I don't find the KLR short on horses in the least. But I am at an age where "speed" is not the goal or concern, it's more about the ride, the company that I keep and trying to make the exeperience last longer instead of being in a hurry.

    Like the wonderful Ural motorcycle rigs, a KLR requires a little "input, feeding and care" by their owners or riders. The KLR is the bike that is made "reliable" or more reliable, by their owners. That being said, it's not tough, the system uncomplicated using 25 year old technologies for the most part, especially the seat.. :D

    Not sure your availability of parts in your area, that might be a deciding factor. In the states, one can easily find a Kawi dealership in most major towns. I am lucky to have 3-4 to choose from.

    I really like the Africa Twin too. But in the States, I would treat it more like a collector type bike and might take a bit better care of it and I would always wonder how long it would take to get parts.

    I restored (or just made reliable) an old Honda ATV several years ago. I was surprised at how many of the parts Honda simply no longer carried and no longer could get. One would not run into that with a KLR....

    Both great options though brother. No right or wrong choice on this one.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    The nearest Kawasaki dealer is only 50 km away.

    I will learn mechanics with that bike so I will constantly check the engine just to have the opportunity to learn how to fix something.

    In Belgium, it's the KLR that is a collector type bike; only 2 for sale in the whole (little) country right now.

    Betitou, I will ask for the invoices.

    Thank you guys for your input. I will give the Kawi a chance. If I don't like it, I can sell it anyway, it won't lose much value :D
    #11
  12. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    IMO, learning mechanics has to be easier on a KLR than on an AT...
    Good luck and keep posting!
    #12
  13. bluesman

    bluesman Long timer

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    Well, since I also in Belgium...

    Get AT.
    KLR as you correctly mentioned is rare here and frankly speaking Kawasaki is not on level with Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha on spares supply here, specifically. Kawasaki here known to be almost as slow on parts as Italians.

    Plus. Not much real offroad here and anyway light thumpers better for that.
    Plus. You need speed and power on our roads and with all my respect KLR is not on level with AT for that. On paved roads AT does have serious advantage.
    Plus. It is easy to find low-mileage late models of AT here in really good state.
    Plus. AT is handsome bike with fleur of that "Dakar Era" despite having nothing in common with real Dakar bikes.
    Plus. AT here always keeps value - not really important from my point of view but...anyway.
    #13
  14. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    You're right, Bluesman.
    I, too, think that the AT is a better bike. But all the AT for sale for that price (in Belgium) have more than 70 000 km. That's a big difference.
    Until now, I have always bought my bikes new and I like the idea of buying a dirt cheap bike.

    About the offroad in Belgium ... Well, there are a little more possibilities here than in Brabant, but only a little. But I can ride in France.

    My only japanese bike so far was a Suzuki, so I didn't know that there was a problem with spares supply. It's only in Belgium or in all Europe ? Luxembourg is 1 km, France 2 km and Germany 50 km from here, so I don't mind buying my parts there.

    Once the snow melts, I will have a look at that bike. If I don't like what I see, I will keep looking for an AT.


    I must be mad, but I prefer the look of the KLR. I don't like the colours of the AT. Stupid, isn't it ?
    #14
  15. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

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    If that's the case, GET IT!
    You can't go wrong with the KLR.
    It is not under powered.
    Go visit the bike and take it for a test ride to see for yourself.
    I think you'll be more than happy with it.
    #15
  16. BGil

    BGil Been here awhile

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    I bought the KLR !

    Below, a crappy cellphone picture. (That's not me on the bike)
    Thanks for your advices.

    [​IMG]

    The bike is still at the previous owners's place, I will get it once I have the plate ; I don't want to rent a truck.
    #16
  17. RandoCommando

    RandoCommando Wannabe

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    Hell yeah! That thing is beautiful!
    Grats!!!!!
    #17
  18. Old Kiwi#99

    Old Kiwi#99 Been here awhile

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    Nice bike, very tidy.

    The gen1 have one problem the needs to be addressed - the balancer drive chain lever (doohickey). Moderately easy to replace, aftermarket ones from EagleMike are superior to the factory part (probably cheaper, too).
    Look on KLR650.net for more nformation or just search for doohickey on Google.

    If you are serious about riding through russia check out colebatch's various threads in this forum - there is a good one detailing the preparation of his BMW

    Expect a lot of derision for wanting to take a KLR on that sort of ride. On the other hand a KTM did a proportion of colebatchs latest ride on the end of a towrope :evil... (check Sibirtsky Extreme in "Ride reports")
    #18